During Thursday’s class we talked about the importance of building relationships with different individuals and organizations to stimulate/facilitate environmental change. Environmental issues have a greater chance of being addressed/solved when local stakeholders, governments and other environmental organizations join together to contribute a multitude of ideas.
The Ecomuseum Kristenstads Vattenrike (EKV) serves as a municipality organization that works on joining different groups together to address an environmental problem that concerns all of the groups involved. In Walker and Salt’s book, Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World, the authors describe the purpose of the EKV when they state “ By serving as a forum that brings together individuals and organizations to discuss emerging issues, build consensus, provide feedback and share views, the EKV serves a valuable role in building trust and enhancing the resilience of social-ecological systems that is the KV.” I thought this statement described the main role of the EKV and how it serves the environment. It shows that the only way to get things done is through a diversity of ideas that can only come from a variety of groups/individuals from different backgrounds. The EKV acts as a median between all these groups, so they know how to talk and build trust between different groups. They understand that they have to tailor their conversation to fit the interest of farmers differently than if they were speaking to a government official. Trust between different groups is what leads to success when addressing/solving environmental problems.
The EKV also understands the need to build relationships before a problem arises because as Walker and Salt state “ If discussions on collaborations are only initiated once a conflict has arisen it’s much more difficult to reach consensus.” The EKV uses various activities to prevent this. These activities link together individuals from different groups to establish trust with each other and the EKV. Building trust is important because it established allies that will support you when you require them, especially if they know your opinions on various issues and you know theirs. This shows that you are willing to listen to their ideas and do whatever you can to help them as well. Allies will stand with you when you propose change to fix an environmental issue because they are confident in your organization and accountability.
The Nature Conservancy is another organization that builds trust among various groups, such as local governments, local stakeholders and private companies to help achieve their mission of conserving the lands and waters of the earth (The Nature Conservancy, 2016). They believe in building trust and partnering with so many different groups to have what they call a “diversity of knowledge” (The Nature Conservancy, 2016). This organization understands that they need these relationships to receive a diversity of ideas from people of different backgrounds to protect the earth. A diversity of knowledge allows for different viewpoints to be valued and heard, so that a solution can be reached quickly and efficiently. I have attached below a link to a video by The Nature Conservancy to show how all their partners are important to them (you don’t have to watch the whole video, but I would recommend that you at least watch the first minute). This organization understands that having a diversity of ideas in a business is just as important as having diversity in nature.
Relationships with various groups are a must because only when groups come together do we see change and environmental problems are effectively addressed. So now that we know these relationships are a fundamental part of success, how do we maintain them?
Link to video:
The Nature Conservancy. Web. 2016.
Walker and Salt. Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. 2006. Pg. 125-138.